Bonner Querschnitte 13/2017 Ausgabe 474 (eng)


Political Islam and Freedom of Religion

Kelek, Kirchhof and Schirrmacher discussing with the Bavarian minister of justice in Berlin

(left to right) state minister Prof. Dr. Bausback, Dr. Necla Kelek, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Kirchhof, Prof. Dr. Christine Schirrmacher during the panel discussion © Henning Schacht(Bonn, 07.06.2017) The political Islam is posing new challenges for Germany. The fundamental right in article 4 of the constitution protects the individual’s freedom of religion and binds the state to neutrality towards religions. But what, if patriarchal-archaic traditions are also being declared to be religious commandments? What if such commandments are in conflict with the fundamental values of our constitution? Do we then have to reconsider our freedom of religion? On June 1st, 2017, the Bavarian minister of justice, Prof. Dr. Winfried Bausback, and the Bavarian representation in Berlin invited to a panel discussion, “Political Islam and Constitution – do we have to reconsider Freedom of Religion in Germany?”, with three experts participating, namely Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Kirchhof, vice-president of the Federal Constitutional Court, Prof. Dr. Christine Schirrmacher, who also teaches in many government offices, such as the Federal Foreign Office, and publicist Dr. Necla Kelek. State minister Prof. Bausback gave an introduction to the theme under discussion and to the present challenges of political Islam and anchored the panel discussion.

The experts agreed, that on the one hand the relation between freedom of religion and worldviews and religiously motivated violation of human rights and violence deserves greater attention, but that on the other hand our legal order does not have to be altered, in order to solve the problems. For freedom of religion always includes, just as any other human right, the protection of the human rights of all people, including Muslims, as well as the warding off of such people and movements who violate and question this freedom of religion. A religiously motivated violation of human rights would furthermore victimize the followers of the own religious or ideological movement.

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